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Stalemate in Leverkusen for Dortmund

Jonathan HardingJanuary 31, 2015

Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen couldn't find a way past each other in Saturday's 0-0. Both sides had chances, although there weren't many in total, but neither could score.

Bundesliga Borussia Dortmund vs. Bayer 04 Leverkusen 31.1.2015
Image: Getty Images/M. Hangst/Bongarts

After Freiburg's win earlier in the day, Borussia Dortmund entered their game with Bayer Leverkusen as the side bottom of the Bundesliga table. New signing Kevin Kampl started on the left wing for Jürgen Klopp's team, with the returning Marco Reus in the middle - whose presence was like having a new signing after his injury spell.

Leverkusen, as they did in the reverse fixture earlier this season, pressed high and hard early on, but Dortmund was ready for it. In attack, Ciro Immobile looked lively but Dortmund were once again plagued by poor pass accuracy. At the half-hour mark, Mats Hummels was Dortmund's best passer with only seven completed passes. Hakan Calhanoglu forced a save out of Roman Weidenfeller from a free kick, before Mats Hummels' diving header on the line kept out Gonzalo Castro's effort.

Tense second half

At the break, Klopp was forced to bring off Lukasz Piszczek (hamstring problems) for Neven Subotic. Both sides continued to be conservative, desperate not to make the first mistake. Immobile nearly found Reus in the middle but Calhanoglu made a last-minute clearance. With 15 minutes left in the game, Castro had a glorious chance to give the home side the lead, but the midfielder - put through by substitute Simon Rolfes - lifted the ball over both Weindenfeller and the goal frame.

Nuri Sahin saw a speculative effort bounce harmlessly wide of the far post as the game headed towards a perhaps predictable conclusion. The first game for both sides after the winter break was always going to involve some rust being shaken off, but the 0-0 draw in Leverkusen lacked the speed and desire of recent encounters between the two sides.

"It's a step forward," said midfielder Sahin after the game, a sentiment that head coach Klopp agreed with. "I'm satisfied today. We didn't lose our nerve. We showed that we did a bit of work in the winter break. On we go," said Dortmund's coach to Sky Sports afterwards.

The result leaves Dortmund bottom of the table and will host Augsburg on Wednesday evening. Leverkusen travel to Berlin on Wednesday.